Portland, Multnomah Co. leaders defiant of Trump ‘sanctuary city - KPTV - FOX 12

Portland, Multnomah Co. leaders defiant of Trump ‘sanctuary city’ order

Posted: Updated: Jan 25, 2017 08:36 PM

President Trump signed two executive orders Wednesday to move forward with plans to build a wall on the Mexican border, increase resources for immigration enforcement and withhold funding from sanctuary cities and states.

The entire state of Oregon has been a sanctuary state since 1987, meaning, officials and law enforcement don’t target someone simply based on their immigration status, and local leaders of the many sanctuary cities in the state want Trump to know, that will not change.

Portland is one of those sanctuary cities, but officials have a message for local immigrants and refugees.

“I am here to tell you today that we are not going to turn our backs on the most vulnerable people in our community because Donald Trump is threatening us,” Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury said.

With members of the ACLU and other immigrant advocates standing by, Kafoury said county sanctuary policies will not change. In fact, Sheriff Mike Reese says state law doesn’t allow him to step in on immigration cases.

“As a result, we don’t use our resources or personnel to enforce federal immigration law, nor do we hold people pursuant to ice detainees,” he explained.

RELATED: Portland could lose around $50M in grants from Trump targeting sanctuary cities

RELATED: Resolution to declare Forest Grove a sanctuary city fails

Even before the election, Mayor Ted Wheeler said he’d fight Trump on the issue of immigration every step of the way, and with the new orders signed Wednesday, it appears that the battle has begun.

“As the mayor of Portland, I am not going to budge on this issue,” Wheeler said. “This is bedrock to me and it’s bedrock to this community.”

Of course, the new executive orders are fraught with unknowns right now, like will the city be monitored by federal agents, and if so, how?

RELATED: Trump moves to build border wall, cut sanctuary city funds

RELATED: 'Sanctuary cities' undaunted by Trump move to cut funding

Local officials aren’t making plans yet to fill in the gaps from lost federal funding, but Wheeler said Portland’s most vulnerable people would be impacted by the lost funds first.

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